Skip to content

Dundas defeats Innisfail Eagles in second game of Allan Cup Challenge

Eagles now find themselves in must-win game on April 24 to stay alive in the national senior men’s hockey championship
The Innisfail Eagles lost their second game of the Allan Cup preliminary round-robin on the night of Tuesday, April 22 against the defending national seniors men's champion Dundas Real McCoys. Graphic by Candice Hughes

Ryan Dodd is not worried. Not one bit.

The longtime devoted member of the Innisfail Eagles Hockey Club absolutely believes his senior men’s team at the Allan Cup Challenge in Dundas, Ontario is in the best shape of the four teams now battling it out – despite the fact his Eagles have lost the first two games of preliminary round-robin action.

“We are in the best shape out of anybody here, with the longevity of the tournament and the games,” said Dodd, the Eagles’ current general manager and assistant coach. “It will play in our hands the most and we just got to keep battling.”

Dodd’s optimism followed his squad’s 5-2 loss on April 22 at Dundas’ J.L. Grightmire Arena to the defending senior men’s hockey Allan Cup champion Dundas Real McCoys.

It was a loss that followed Innisfail’s heartbreaking tournament opening game 5-4 defeat to the Stoney Creek Tigers, the Ontario senior men’s champions, on April 21.

Against Dundas, the Eagles got behind early in the first half of the opening period, and could never recover.

The Real McCoys outshot the Eagles 20 to 10 in the first period, and never allowed the Eagles to get fully on track.

Innisfail found themselves down 3-0 before Shawn Bates scored with just under two minutes remaining in the first period to make it 3-1.

Innisfail’s Ty Clay got a late second period goal to make the game interesting at 3-2 but Innisfail could not find the equalizer in the final 20 minutes.

Dundas scored twice in the third period and cruised for their second win of the round-robin.

The loss left Innisfail with a record of two losses and no wins in the round-robin, with just one more shot to stay alive.

Tuesday, April 23 is a day off for the Eagles.

“Believe it or not we've asked the players to sit back and take it easy,” said Dodd. “There’s a lot of guys who aren’t happy where their games have been at and what’s going on out there. Probably half the team is heading out to the rink for a skate.

“The players weren't happy with what happened last night,” he added. “They weren't happy with what happened in day one, so there was a little players-only meeting last night.

“They talked through a few things,” said Dodd. “The guys want to work on some stuff and get things dialed back in and away we go.”

In the meantime, the Stoney Creek Tigers, the Ontario senior men’s champions, will play Newfoundland and Labrador’s Southern Shore Breakers Tuesday.

No matter what happens between the Tigers and the Breakers, Innisfail can still make the semifinal game scheduled for Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Breakers and Innisfail will face off against each other Wednesday, April 24, with the game starting at 3 p.m. EST.

If Innisfail wins, the team will play in Friday’s Allan Cup semifinal. If the team loses, they are going home.

“Once you're into the semifinals, it doesn't matter what you did,” said Dodd. “In 2019 when we played in Lacombe, we lost our first two games and we ended up playing in the final.

“We’re fine. People are saying, ‘you’re not getting any puck bounces but puck bounces and all that stuff comes with hard work,” he added. “Some guys think they are working but they are not quite there yet. They have to put in a little bit more.

“You can’t have five or six guys going and 10 or 12 are passengers,” said Dodd. “Everybody has got to be going as a unit. We just got to keep coming in waves.”

As for who will get the call in the Innisfail net, which had Travis Yonkman in the first game and Brodan Salmond in the second, Dodd said it has been decided but he won’t yet announce it.

“Our goaltending has been good. It has given us a chance to win every game. That’s all you can ask for,” said Dodd, adding there will likely be lineup changes up front.

“That’s the thing about having a few guys that you can put in and out, as it gives some guys some rest, and it keeps them fresh.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks